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Wireless Networks Thread, Wireless standalone v managed in Technical; @ Michael That was the plan exact same hardware same manufacturer and model. All running same config just different hostnames ...
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    @Michael
    That was the plan exact same hardware same manufacturer and model. All running same config just different hostnames and channels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    In my opinion it's a complete waste of money to have controllers for anything less than 100 WAPs.
    If you have 25+ unmanaged APs that move around with laptop trolleys (like us), I would say a managed wireless solution is absolutely worth getting particularly if the school has more laptops than desktops. The amount of time we spend fixing wireless-related issues each week would have paid for a controller and new APs several times over.

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    @SimpleSi

    Confused even more, if the Unifi Ap is B/G/N running at 300mbs why does it only run at 100mbs ethernet?

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    @Arthur,

    Nah the access points are fixed, and tbh the only reason this thread was started was because I want to increase the amount of bandwidth and was told of by suppliers for not having a managed system, honestly apart from one failed access point the Cisco points have been left alone since I installed them. 42 weeks uptime since our last power failure.

  5. #20

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    bangs head against wall hard!!!
    This provision isn't enough as I find when 30 plus laptops are out in one area the login is pretty slow, have to say it does perform pretty well once logged in.
    Unless you've got some extremely clever AP that I've never seen (or some fantastically slim profiles), then 30 laptops logging on wirelessly at same time is always going to be slow.

    I do know that the theoretical bandwiths mentioned are just that - theoretical

    How badly off do you think you'll be in reality with 2-3 Unifi APs set to 10-15 clients compared to 1 Cisco - worth a practical test or do you want to carry on with the full 1/2 hour arguement

    Wireless is all about the practicallity of your wall thicknesses and what the wireless cards in the laptops are like talking with your APs.

    I've a beautiful, theoretically superb managed Ruckus setup costing £2500 at one school that won't let 35 netbooks logon at the same time as the Ruckus kit doesn't work well with the netbook wifi cards in half of our machines (And I don't even use profiles!)

    Suck it and see what happens
    Si
    PS I'm just passionate about getting best value for schools and when something comes along that does what it says on the tin for a fraction of the cost of competing products then I become an evangilist

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    If you have 25+ unmanaged APs that move around with laptop trolleys (like us), I would say a managed wireless solution is absolutely worth getting particularly if the school has more laptops than desktops. The amount of time we spend fixing wireless-related issues each week would have paid for a controller and new APs several times over.
    I personally would rather have 50 standalone WAPs rather than 25 WAPs with a controller. I rarely have to deal with wireless issues related to the WAPs. It's normally the netbook/notebook in question rather than wireless itself.

    Surely the fact the WAPs move round with the trolley is probably why you have so many issues? If you had 50 WAPs installed in all areas, I'd bet your wireless problems would significantly reduce.

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    Si,

    Didn't realise we were arguing, apologies if I have given this impression. Simply telling me to buy Unifi, without giving me any sort of answer to any question I ask 'Buy this because its cheep and good!!' sorry but I can't just take that. I am asking questions because I feel these points are important to our environment and will impact what device I choose whether ubuiquity / Ruckus / etc.

    I appreciate your passionate, and I am really grateful that you have input your opinion.

    I understand that
    Unless you've got some extremely clever AP that I've never seen (or some fantastically slim profiles), then 30 laptops logging on wirelessly at same time is always going to be slow.
    I am simply trying to find a solution to speed up our current setup, literally up to about 25 is fine, then after the last 5 you can really notice the lag, so my initial idea was to double the AP availability.

    I have in classes 6 Cisco access points, 1142N, covering 12 classes 1 between 2. In your view what would you do? Add a Unifi point into every other class? Removing the Cisco points or leaving them in place? Removing them would mean I have wasted £2000 on Cisco APs, keeping them would mean mixed access points, which everyone says is a bad thing. In my mind either situation I am wasting money I am simply trying to choose the best solution this doesn't necessarily mean it will be the cheapest.

    As for wireless compatibility that's exactly why I am nervous about kit that isn't as well known as Cisco, the numerous different wireless cards we have had here BYOD and in school equipment and no issues - whatsoever.

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    300 Mbps is only possible using 40Mhz channel slots which in reality is impractical at 2.4Ghz and is not recommended unless your in the the suburbs yards from your nearest competing radio.
    I do it only to deprive my immediate neighbours of spectrum and bandwidth in order to cause them immense pain because Virgin media can't be bothered to configure their systems properly.

    At 20Mhz N 2.4Ghz clients can only realise 130 Mbs (wireless speed) after encryption overhead and transfer to copper Phy layer so a 100 Mb copper link is more than enough.

    I suggest you read this IEEE 802.11n-2009 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for an in depth explanation of Wifi data rates.

    Therefore Gigabit uplinks are only really needed when you have Dual Radios and 3x3 MIMO and enough clients to acutually saturate and utilise it.

    With 2 Spatial Streams and enough clients to fill all available time slots the throughput will never be more than 130 Mbps
    If you have 10 clients per AP theoretically that's still only 13 Mbps each! Which is why when all the clients login to a single AP at the same time to slow to a crawl.
    A gigabit uplink won't help you but 3 AP's of course will.

    Same old story, G/N is not the same as A/N and 5Ghz isnt 2.4Ghz and a Quart does not fit into a Pint Pot and I don't care which Vendors name is on the box.
    802.11ac will push the the limits even further with 5Ghz AC wanting to use 8 channels we are once again heading to Wifi oblivion...

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    beany1 (8th May 2012)

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    If you have 10 clients per AP theoretically that's still only 13 Mbps each! Which is why when all the clients login to a single AP at the same time to slow to a crawl.
    A gigabit uplink won't help you but 3 AP's of course will.
    Thank you - this is the kind of information I needed. This is exactly why from the start I was inquiring about a controlled based wireless solutions ability to force clients balance between access points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I personally would rather have 50 standalone WAPs rather than 25 WAPs with a controller. I rarely have to deal with wireless issues related to the WAPs. It's normally the netbook/notebook in question rather than wireless itself.

    Surely the fact the WAPs move round with the trolley is probably why you have so many issues? If you had 50 WAPs installed in all areas, I'd bet your wireless problems would significantly reduce.
    i don't see why an unmanaged AP moving around with a laptop trolley, where those laptops/netbooks have already associated with that AP, should be an issue. It sounds like one of the more reliable ways of getting connectivity on the cheap. I'd obviously prefer a fixed setup, with enough AP's to meet both coverage and density requirements, but i've been in plenty of places where they just don't have the money to go with a managed solution. Although obviously one of the solutions being talked up on here sounds like it could potentially provide a form managed wireless very cheaply indeed. Without having experienced the solution can't comment on it's effectiveness.

    I personally would rather have 25+ smart APs with a controller than going standalone AP's at that scale. And really your talking a/g AP's if you've got that many standalone AP's, 802.11n managed solutions have been around long enough for folk to have planned for them as a cost effective replacement of the legacy standalone systems.

    But then again i'd rather have one AP per classroom, rather than 1 per 2. And i'd also want to ensure that were i to have 25+ clients connecting to a single AP that they were setup so as not to have to pull too much down from the network at logon. In other words, you can't always get what you want.

  12. Thanks to alttab from:

    SimpleSi (9th May 2012)

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    This thread details the conversion of 1142 LWAPP to Autonomous so I think it's pretty likely that the reverse is possible.
    https://supportforums.cisco.com/thread/2055997

    Personally i think it seems a pretty pointless exercise to go through for just 8 APs

    If you want to get the most from your existing real estate follow the Cisco recommendations here http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions...c11-557441.pdf
    As you will see Cisco recommend 5Ghz N deployments to suit your AP's

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Surely the fact the WAPs move round with the trolley is probably why you have so many issues?
    Correct! SMT have now seen the error of their ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by alttab View Post
    I don't see why an unmanaged AP moving around with a laptop trolley, where those laptops/netbooks have already associated with that AP, should be an issue.
    You haven't met our teachers. We get WAPs being left in classrooms, dropped on the floor, go missing, interference from overlapping channels, poor throughput, laptops not connecting to the network, teachers switching the APs on after the students have booted up their laptops, damaged Ethernet cables, damaged network and electric sockets (caused by the teacher forgetting to unplug the cables when moving the trolley), broken antennas... the list never ends!!!

    As Michael mentioned above, fixed WAPs would solve almost all of the issues, but there are still plenty of reasons why a proper managed wireless system would be advantageous.

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    I am simply trying to find a solution to speed up our current setup, literally up to about 25 is fine, then after the last 5 you can really notice the lag, so my initial idea was to double the AP availability.
    "1/2 hour arguement" is a Monty Python joke

    In my school that had 15 laptops and used Bufallo standalone APs (1 per class), when we bought 30 netbooks, I simply added another standalone AP with a differerent SSID to each class and setup half the netbooks to connect to orig SSID and half to the new one

    I'd thought that this would work just as well using your Cisco APs

    Si

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    Arthur's taken the words out of my mouth. This is what happens in my experience too, so I assure you it isn't just your school!

    This is why given the choice of comparatively small Primary school budgets, I'd rather have a WAP high up the wall in each teaching area rather than less WAPs and a controller or portable WAPs. In a Secondary school environment, you would typically have 100 WAPs at the very least, so a managed solution is both financially possible and justified. It would make managing the whole thing easier, even for a team of technicians.

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    Thanks for all the input everyone.



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